In addition to the opportunities and challenges that we experience by working in higher education, for the past two-plus years we have collectively experienced a global pandemic that changed the way that we work and live, often blurring the lines between work and "not work." The workshop facilitator, a behavioral neuroscientist and community college administrator, begins with an introduction to the origins of stress research and how the underlying biological mechanisms of stress impact our behaviors, moods, and health. By understanding that our bodies have evolved to deal with threats acutely, yet we have found ways to activate the same systems chronically, participants explore strategies for disrupting the maladaptive results of chronic stress. They also explore ways to adapt to successive Zoom meetings and sedentary work environments, engage in relaxation techniques and exercise, and plan their days to include self-care.
Everybody is doing it: Companies like Google provide professional development around mindfulness for their employees, professional athletes practice mindfulness, and even the military trains soldiers through mindfulness. A growing body of neuroscience and other research suggests that mindfulness also holds an array of benefits for higher education, including individual benefits (such as increased self-regulation, attention, and creativity) and communal benefits (such as the promise of more inclusive environments). When students are emotionally engaged in the classroom, they have a greater sense of belonging because content connects to their personal lives and academic pursuits. During this workshop, participants learn how to incorporate mindfulness into their classrooms to support student engagement and success.
This workshop introduces participants to the concept of trauma and resilience and allows them to explore their own experiences to provide a better sense of relatability. Learning these key principles can enhance wellbeing and is applicable to everyone. The process of learning can never occur without developing meaningful relationships. During the workshop, participants have the opportunity to learn more about themselves and the students they serve by assessing and understanding their own underlying trauma and vulnerabilities with a series of intentional activities and exercises. By evaluating and analyzing our own adverse childhood experiences, we are able to better empathize with those around us. By breaking down the wall between us and the individuals we work with, we can help them overcome barriers that may be standing in the way of them reaching their full potential. Recognizing this allows for better relationships, increased cognition, and enhanced learning transfer. Participants
This workshop provides participants with concrete tools for teaching critical-thinking skills while covering required course content. By the end of the workshop, participants are able to create lesson plans that enhance critical-thinking skills based on content from any discipline in the humanities or social sciences. Participants also learn how these skills can be easily and accurately measured.
Transforming the classroom environment from teacher-centered to learner-centered can be achieved by questioning traditional lecture and homework methods and integrating engaged-learning activities. This completely changes the classroom dynamics and makes students more responsible for their own learning. Student attendance, engagement, participation, and conceptual understanding sharply increase and result in vastly improved student-learning outcomes and student success. Come explore the possibilities offered by the flipped classroom model, engage with other participants, and leave with a variety of interactive engagement activities that can be implemented immediately.
How often have you heard from employers that they are looking to hire graduates with the book knowledge and essential soft skills needed to be successful in the workplace? Many employers believe soft skills are just as important, if not more so, than hard skills. As an educator, how can you teach soft skills to college students? During this workshop, participants learn about the necessary soft skills most employers desire. Participants leave with a set of strategies they can use to help their students develop soft skills that are critical for future success.